Isn’t it ironic that the title of my last blog was “Chad’s the Man”? Unfortunately, Chad is the man in the biggest spotlight on the Giants right now. He’s accused of groping a woman on a gurney while spending time in an emergency room in Las Vegas. I am a firm believer of “innocent until proven guilty” so I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this one, but seriously? On top of everything else this team has had to deal with?? He’s pitching tonight, and it will be interesting to see how it affects him now that this has come to light. Wonder what’s been going on in the clubhouse as well. Talk about awkward.
At least they won last night. Rod Brooks mentioned on KNBR yesterday that this series against the Padres is kind of a make-or-break deal before the All-Star break, and I have to agree. This series will test if there is any hope left for this team, as the Padres have done almost as poorly as we have in the last few weeks. Brooks mentioned that it will be pretty grim if we don’t take at least 3 of these games. And personally, I think the one they won last night was the easiest to take, as they’ve been winning Bumgarner’s starts anyway. Since June 14th, the Giants are 5-1 in Bumgarner starts vs. 2-18 when anyone else starts (thanks for that stat, Andrew Baggarly). So the real test is tonight – can they put 2 wins together? And then can they take one more? You know Brian Sabean is out there watching. Management isn’t going to spend money or prospects on upgrading talent this season if the core guys can’t get it together.
There’s been lots of roster movement in the last week. The Giants signed Jeff Francoeur of the Royals to a minor league contract on Tuesday (he was put on waivers by the Royals). Bochy said he probably won’t be in the minors much longer and should be up with the big boys soon. Not sure why this decision was made as Francoeur isn’t really outstanding, but I guess he’s a right-handed option in the outfield and he was cheap. To date this season, he batted .208 with 3 home runs, 13 RBI, and 2 stolen bases, plus he struck out 49 times in 183 at bats while walking just 8 times. Things that make you go hmmmmm. But he’s cheap, right?? Maybe it’s because he does stuff like this. Be sure to click on the video on this link. Isn’t that awesome?? Love that guy! So we’ll see what happens when the Giants decide to bring him up. Will Bacon Tuesday become the next great Giants fad?? Will his nickname be “The Baconator”?
In another roster move, the Giants bought Kensuke Tanaka’s contract from Fresno, designating Cole Gillespie for assignment. Tanaka was the Japanese phenom who was a big letdown during Spring Training, but he had recently been doing well in Fresno while Gillespie had been doing poorly in SF. I love this guy! During his first game as a major leaguer, he logged his first hit to a standing ovation and then lifted his helmet to the crowd. Plus he made an amazing catch in left field. And I think he had a smile on his face during that entire game! So refreshing! He normally plays second base, but he’s more needed in the outfield so that‘s where he’s playing. He’s continued to impress with his bat, going 2 for 4 last night and bringing in one of the 4 runs. Welcome to the big boys, Kensuke! You have arrived!
Mike Kickham made a short appearance again, coming up when Hector Sanchez went on the DL for his strained shoulder, then going back down after filling in for Matt Cain on Wednesday when he only managed to last 2/3 innings. Kickham’s showing wasn’t great in either of his relief appearances – he starts out great and then peters off. Jean Machi came back up when Kickham went down.
I attended that game on Wednesday, and that was probably the saddest game I’ve ever been to. It started off bad and just continued. I usually am an avid observer during an entire game I attend at AT&T Park, but I had trouble getting involved at all. So sad. Didn’t help that I was sitting next to Brian, the Giants cynic. Not sure how Pablo’s ears didn’t spontaneously combust from all of Brian’s derogatory comments about him! And we were all dumbfounded when we saw Kickham start to warm up in the bull pen during the first inning. My win-loss record for games I’ve attended this season is at 4-3. Still above .500, but losing steam. They’ve just got to get better after the All-Star break. Hopefully the rest will do them some good.
George Kontos’ suspension decision was upheld on Wednesday as well, so he will be out for the first 3 games in San Diego. What a waste. Hope he’s learned his lesson and won’t give in to purposefully hitting guys again. Really not worth it.
I actually stayed up Monday night to watch the entire 16-inning game. Ginny, my fellow Giants die-hard fan, was up with me even though she had to work the next day. What spunk! That has got to be one of the most depressing things – staying up that late for an extra inning game when your team finally loses. Those guys must have been so exhausted. And an extra-inning game was the last thing they needed at that point. I happened to be doing a spit count for that game. I’m planning on doing another one tonight, so I’ll give you the results of both sometime this weekend. Needless to say, some of the numbers are crazy! And I’ll leave you with a teaser – unfortunately more disappointment on the way on the spitting front!
So tonight is really an important game. They MUST take this one! The Padres stink, and they need to show that they can beat stinky teams again. That’s the first step on the path to getting back into this thing. Maybe Tanaka will be the spark they need. Or maybe Francoeur will come up bearing bacon to raise their spirits! Come on, Boys! Keep the Bumgarner momentum going this time! Take 2 in a row! GO GIANTS!!